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Upon this intelligence Pompey laid aside his design of going into Syria, seized all the money he found in the public bank, borrowed as much more as he could of his friends, sent great quantities of brass on board for military uses; and having raised two thousand soldiers, amongst the public officers, merchants, and his own servants, sailed for Pelusium. Here, by accident, was king Ptolemy, a minor, warring with a great army against his sister Cleopatra; whom, some months before, by the assistance of his friends, he had expelled the kingdom, and was then encamped not far distant from her. Pompey sent to demand his protection, and a safe retreat in Alexandria, in consideration of the friendship that had subsisted between him and his father. The messengers, after discharging their commission, began to converse freely with the king's troops, exhorting them to assist Pompey and not despise him in his adverse fortune. Among these troops were many of Pompey's old soldiers, whom Gabinius, having draughted out of the Syrian army, had carried to Alexandria, and, upon the conclusion of the war, left there with the young king's father.

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